***We planned our work and we worked our plan
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO OF KOGI STATE AT THE OFFICIAL COMMENCEMENT OF THE PREPARATION OF KOGI STATE 32 YEARS DEVELOPMENT PLAN ON FRIDAY THE 23RD OF SEPTEMBER, 2022
I welcome all of us to this event. It is the official kick-off of preparations to develop the Kogi State 32 Year Development Plan, 2023-2055.
In our early days in this Administration, we put forth a policy plan called the New Direction Blueprint to guide us during our time in Government and it has helped us make quick progress towards accelerated and proportional development of our state in all her constituencies. Over the last 6 years and 8 months we have made good progress in education, health, infrastructure/utilities, youth empowerment and civil service/pension reforms, security, agriculture, human capital development as well as the critical areas of diversity management and cooperation/integration.
One area where we have excelled is Public Financial Management (PFM). This is reflected in our Number 1 position among Nigerian states in the States’ Financial Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) performance in the last four years. In concrete terms, we have successfully reformed our Budgeting System, Procurement System, Debt Management System, Revenue Generation System, Annual Audited Financial Statement, etc.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the point here is that our results in leadership and governance did not come by trial and error. No, we had a Blueprint. We planned our work and we worked our plan. In like manner, we are being intentional about a 32 Year State Development Plan now because we want a future for Kogi State that is optimized to harness the massive advances in human development which are inevitable over the next 3 decades.
While the New Direction Blueprint is a medium term plan, the Kogi State 32 Year Development Plan is a prospective plan that will project the State’s developmental aspirations on a long term basis, in this case 32 years. Our short term objectives such as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Medium Term Sector Strategies (MTSS) and the Annual Budgets will be derived from it.
The personal development guru, Alan Lakein, said that ‘Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.’ Accordingly, this 32 Year Development Plan is the beginning of our efforts to lay out a sustainable Blueprint for the future of our state, starting today.
I have an articulated mission statement for this latter part of my time in office. It reads thus: ”To develop Kogi State into Nigeria’s foremost and most secure emerging commercial hub through optimization of the state’s geographical location, natural endowments and human resources for a sustainable future.’
In line with the above mission, I would appreciate action points at the end of this assignment that will guide me and my successors in office to make Kogi State Nigeria’s Confluence of Opportunities in reality. The Kogi that I see over the 32 years duration of this proposed Development Plan is one that has a strong and self-sufficient economy, the highest standards of living obtainable anywhere in Nigeria, with abundant socioeconomic opportunities for all residents and citizens.
It is the major duty of the developers to interpret this vision for me and detail the means of achieving it. The plan must provide for new venture creation and the development of industrial hubs in an environment where foreign direct investments will thrive and local enterprises will flourish.
In the same vein, it must stipulate for improved networks of housing, roads, bridges, telecommunications and electricity infrastructure across the entire state. It must also adjust for the effects of climate change while promoting incremental improvements in education and healthcare, human capital development, security, agriculture and diversity management.
Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States of America said, and I quote:
‘You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now.’
Truman, for those who do not know, became President after his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Office. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe after World War II, founded NATO, advanced the New Deal reforms of his predecessor, transitioned the American economy from a war posture to a peace footing, and greatly advanced the civil rights of African-Americans.
Although he had his share of controversies, he was a true visionary who accomplished much in and out of office through bold planning and execution. Till today, he continues to exert profound and positive influence on US political, diplomatic, military, and economic policy. In fact, historians rank him as one of the best U.S Presidents of all times.
In like manner, I am passionate about launching Kogi State into a development trajectory that will outlive my time in Lugard House. The Kogi State Development Plan which we are commencing today should not only sustain our successes in this New Direction Administration but build on them. It is my desire that those I have tasked with this assignment give me a Development Plan at the end of the Exercise which is far-reaching and functional, practical and sustainable, but most importantly, bold and transformational.
I charge the teams to avoid personal or clique interests, collaborate in the overriding public interest, deploy extensive research and conduct indepth analysis of data which must be extracted from a wide spectrum engagement with focus groups across all critical sectors.
We have put in place two important Committees to deliver the assignment. The first is the State Steering Committee and the second, is the Technical Committee. Both committees are made up of people of complementary skills and experiences, who have stakes in our collective growth and development. I urge everyone, Kogites, and non-Kogites alike, to cooperate with them to get the job done in record time.
I wish to appreciate the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their kind support toward the advancement of this Kogi State 32-year Development Plan.
On this note, I hereby formally inaugurate the Steering Committee and the Technical Committee, with a clear charge to work hard and deliver a befitting 32 Year State Development Plan for Kogi State.
Thank you for listening.
Governor of Kogi State